Summer Stephan. Courtesy photo

Veteran prosecutor Summer Stephan received an endorsement Wednesday from Bonnie Dumanis, whom she hopes to succeed as San Diego County district attorney next year.

Stephan was also endorsed by Sheriff Bill Gore during a news conference outside the downtown Hall of Justice.

Dumanis praised the leadership skills of Stephan, who she said she’s known for around 26 years.

“It’s important in these uncertain times for someone to be at the helm of the District Attorney’s Office that knows the office, has the support of the office, that has the support of law enforcement, victims and the community at large — and Summer is the person who fits that bill,” said Dumanis, who declined to run for a fifth term as the county’s chief prosecutor. “She’s not only up to the job but eminently qualified for the job.”

With the endorsement, Summer has received backing from the county’s top two law enforcement officials and some of the main groups, such as the San Diego Police Officers Association, Deputy Sheriffs Association and Probation Officers Association.

She has also been endorsed by her fellow prosecutors and their political action committee.

So far, no competing candidates have stepped up to challenger her.

“San Diego, I believe, deserves a battle-tested district attorney, one that has a track record to support victims,” said Stephan, currently the chief deputy district attorney.

Stephan is known most for her efforts to fight sex trafficking, a long- standing problem in the region.

Stephan has prosecuted several noteworthy cases, including a man who raped his sister-in-law and murdered the woman’s boyfriend in a jealous rage in Escondido, and fought to prevent the release of a sexually violent predator known for assaulting male hitchhikers.

In all, she tried more than 100 cases before juries and served as chief of the DA’s North County branch.

–City News Service

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